Monday, June 16, 2014
Example #1 - The Loving Father and Husband. When I think of god-honoring fathers my friend Ron is the first man I think of. I first got to know Ron through a mutual acquaintance - his son Andrew. Since that time we have become good friends, often sharing a bowl of chips and salsa at the local Mexican restaurant as we talked about our families and our God. One sure measure of any man is to examine his fruit . . . his kids. Each one of Ron and Chris's kids, right down the line, is a wonderful example of what Godly, fatherly leadership can bring into a child's life. Both Ron and his wife Chris did an excellent job of raising their kids in a world that tries to hold our kids captive. I can almost hear Ron saying, "Are you sure you're talking about MY kids?" I would smile and say, "Yes, my friend, I am."
Example #2 - The Sacrificial Dad. When I was a kid I looked forward to the time my dad got home from work. Unless, of course, I had been bad . . . which was more often than it should have been. But on the days I was good I couldn't wait for my dad to get home because then we could play catch in the front yard. My dad would get up early and go to work, put in a long day at the office and then fight the rush hour traffic to get home. Probably the first thing he wanted to do after changing out of his suit was to crash on the couch. But I would plead with him to play catch. My dad always sacrificed his own desires in favor of others.
Example #3 - The Faithful Son. Unless my math is wrong, every father is a son. There are good sons and bad ones, prodigal sons and devoted ones. This last story is about my brother-in-law Curt. Curt spent the past week with my wife and me. His mother was failing in her health and he had traveled from Michigan to be with her. He prayer over her and spoke words of truth to both of his parents. He has been praying for them for years and this past week he prayed with them as they surrendered their lives to Christ. Now THAT is a devoted son.
We fathers all have strong and weak points in our character. We might be doing really good in one area while failing massively in another. But the really good dads, at least in this man's opinion, are the ones who have all of the characteristics I have just mentioned PLUS another vital one - Devoted Follower of Jesus.
One of my favorite stories from the Bible is that of the Prodigal Son . . . probably because it fits my prodigal life so perfectly. I'd like for you to read a portion of it here and take note of what the father did for his son who had disappointed him greatly. May we have compassion for one another like the prodigal son's father had for him. And may we who are fathers follow his example.
"17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate." - Luke 15:17-24
What Fathers Do - The Skit Guys